Thomas and Taylor Continue Success with Team USA
COLUMBIA - Team USA headed into Championship play on Friday at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship as the No. 1 seed facing the White Rock Renegades in game one. With a 7-1 record, Team USA selected Mizzou's Chelsea Thomas to be on the mound. Thomas pitched six innings and faced 24 batters, throwing 82 pitches (61 strikes) to strike out 12 batters while only allowing four hits and one walk.
In the bottom of the third, Megan Langenfeld singled, advancing Mizzou's Rhea Taylor to third and scoring Kelly Grieve to put Team USA on the board 1-0. Jessica Schults would then hit a home run in the bottom of the fourth to give the US a 2-0 lead.
An early error by White Rock in the fifth inning lead to two unearned runs by Team USA, giving them a 4-0 lead. Three more runs came in the sixth as Christi Orgeron's triple scored Lauren Gibson and Jessica Schults before advancing home herself following Valerie Arioto's double to give Team USA a 6-0 victory for game one.
In game two, Team USA faced the California As. Mizzou's Rhea Taylor got three hits, scored three runs and got two RBIs in her three at bats.
Team USA's bats got hot early as Michelle Moultrie, batting in the one spot, hit a single. Next up was Mizzou's Rhea Taylor who hit a single and Moultire was able to score after stealing second, 1-0 USA. Taylor advanced to third following a double by Stacey May-Johnson and then home after a sacrifice fly by Kaitlin Cochran, 2-0 USA. Janea Leles would then hit a triple to score May-Johnson and Arioto. Team USA would end the first inning with a 4-0 lead.
The hitting streak continued as Taylor got on first with two outs. She would then go on to steal second base and score following a single by Cochran to put the US up 5-0. Then in the fourth inning, Taylor's single scored Moultrie to give the USA a 6-0 lead. She would then go on to score an unearned following a fielding error during Cochran's putout.
Team USA would defeat the California As in game two 7-0, extending their record to 9-1. The US is scheduled to play Japan on Saturday. The winner of saturday's game will then advance to the Championship game on Sunday.